Advice/planning tip 1: Feel what you feel
As I mention frequently to my clients, process your emotions first. And remember to breathe. Also remember that we will get through this. But, we need to stick together and be mindful of all that we are feeling. Let's speak with respect, kindness and empathy to all involved.. It is absolutely devastating for a couple to have to move their wedding, or even consider canceling. It is no *less devastating for the vendors that are working with those couples. We are doing our utmost to accommodate our clients while we make every attempt to preserve our businesses and livlihoods too. Many of us have been in a financial free fall because we could not apply for any kind of financial aid or assistance. This does not mean that a vendor shouldn't be mindful of what clients are going through, but I do think it is really important to remind everybody what is happening to vendors as well. Our reality is that we may not be working in 2020. And while we do everything we can to move client wedding dates, we are also then faced with the reality that we do not have new bookings in 2021. The loss of revenue is starting, and impossible to make back. That is a LOT for people to handle, so my advice is to be kind and stay respectful on all sides. We are all going through something.
Advice/Planning Tip 2: Be Open to discussions
Be willing to consider having an open discussion with your family and closest friends about the effects of Coronavirus on your plans, and theirs. Some of them may need to travel to reach your wedding, and how they feel about that matters. Even if your state allows gathering, think about how many guests can travel or wouldn't be comfortable traveling. That is a fair question, and asking it has assisted several of our couples in calmly choosing to move their dates out to 2021. You may want as many guests as possible to be able to celebrate with you safely, so consider alternatives in order to have that.
Discussions in general about moving your wedding date are difficult, emotional and challenging and I understand that 100%. Even so, it is important to have the discussions and sort through feelings, questions and potential paths forward from where you are currently.
Advice/Planning tip 3:You deserve to celebrate! Remember that...
Your wedding will happen. You deserve it to happen. Every couple who is going through this deserves that! How does that happen? Well, it is probably going to take a little bit longer than expected. What can you do now that you are thinking of a date change? If you work with a planner, make sure that they are reaching all of your vendors before committing to a confirmed change of date so that you can try to retain your entire team as you postpone.
Typically, a wedding planner is a great resource during wedding planning, now more than ever during this COVID-19 pandemic.Our c=job is to communicate with your creative team and keep them and you informed and this is a most important time to have all of those parties informed.
Remember, you chose the vendors that make up your wedding dream team for a reason. They all want to be at your wedding, that was their plan all along. This pandemic is causing some scheduling challenges, but don't be daunted. Some of them may not be available, and that is ok too. The goal is to aim for the least amount of (further) disruptive changes and financial impact as possible. Most of the conversations need to start with the venue as they are the largest piece to your wedding. From there, I suggest that you prioritize the vendors you have contracted. Is the band something you cannot go without? Is your photographer one that you really want to work with on your wedding day? While we believe that all vendors are valuable, each couple has priorities, and if you know where you stand on each category, that can help you make decisions if you face some of your vendors being unavailable on the new date. Something to note: if one of your vendors is unavailable, talk to them about it - they will have a suggestion on who might be able to replace them and that is always a very valid referral.
Large, beautiful layered weddings can happen. It is going to take a little longer. And in the meantime, if you would like an intimate gathering with a meaningful ceremony you can have that too. There are more options for couples right now, more-so then before I feel. I choose to see that as a bit of a silver lining. I hope that you enjoyed my three pieces of wedding planning advice during COVID-19, please feel free to shoot me a message or email if you have any questions or need help! We are here for you, and in this with you. xo